Evolution and biogeography of the genus Limonium

The genus Limonium (Plumbaginaceae) consists of 200 – 350 species, most of them adapted to saline, coastal environments. Most species are salt-tolerant and inhabit saline areas but are outcompeted in other habitats, apparently because of their slow growth. Limonium is a cosmopolitan genus with a main distribution area in the Mediterranean basin, West Africa and the Macaronesian Islands. Twenty-three species of Limonium are found on the Canary Islands of which 19 are strictly endemic to one or more of these islands.